[This post owes its existance to Kate, whom I know from Knitty. Thanks!]
Holiday bonus...maybe this is a bit shallow, but for me the holiday season is a time when my talents--knitting, cooking, baking, singing--feel less like indulgence than something positive.
Mind, I don't sing professionally anymore. But we went to a Lessons and Carols service on Sunday, and in singing there it felt as though I was contributing to the happiness of the occasion and the people around me.
There are times, and plenty of them, when I feel guilty for knitting, or baking or (fill in 'hobby' here) during the daytime. This feeling has certainly intensified since I have been unemployed.
But in preparing for the holidays I am creating gifts for the people I like and love. These actions (or recreations) are producing something that will, I hope, make those people happy. And at least in the knitting, I am saving us some money. I have a very large stash of yarn. And vintage buttons. Very little has been spent on buying the raw materials for the gifts I have made this year.
So, in preparing for the holidays I get a bonus. The joy of giving, coupled with a kind of validation, give me a lift beyond the beauty of Christmas and the New Year.